We're counting down the days to kickoff with “99 Warriors,” the greatest Ohio State Buckeyes by jersey number, as voted by the staff of Eleven Warriors.
No. 45 Archie Griffin
The choice for the top Buckeye to wear No. 45 simply couldn't have been anyone else.
While the only other Buckeye to don the number since, Andy Katzenmoyer, was a great player in his own right, no jersey number is more synonymous with an individual player in Ohio State history than the No. 45 and Archie Griffin.
RB Archie Griffin
b. Aug. 21, 1954 (Columbus, Ohio)
- Heisman Trophy (1974, 1975)
- Maxwell Award (1975)
- Walter Camp Award (1974, 1975)
- First-Team All-American (1973, 1974, 1975)
- Team Captain (1974, 1975)
- Team MVP (1973, 1974)
- Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame (1981)
- College Football Hall of Fame (1986)
- Rose Bowl All-Century Player (2014)
Griffin, of course, is one of the greatest players in college football history. More than 40 years removed from accomplishing the feat, Griffin is still the only player to ever win the Heisman Trophy twice.
A four-year starter for the Buckeyes, Griffin ran for 867 yards and three touchdowns on 159 carries and three touchdowns in 1972. He emerged as a star in 1973, rushing for 1,577 yards and seven touchdowns on 247 carries and earning the first of three consecutive first-team All-American honors.
In 1974, Griffin became the fourth Heisman Trophy winner in Ohio State history after rushing for 1,695 yards and 12 touchdowns on 256 carries. He became the first-ever repeat Heisman winner in 1975, when he ran for 1,450 yards and four touchdowns on 262 carries.
With 5,589 rushing yards for his career, Griffin left Ohio State as the all-time leading rusher in NCAA history.
Griffin was selected with the No. 24 overall pick in the 1976 NFL draft and went on to play seven seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals. He later served as the president and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association from 2004 to 2015.
Griffin was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1981 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Ohio State officially retired No. 45 in Griffin's honor in 1999, marking the first time that Ohio State ever retired an athlete's number in any sport.
Photo: Ohio State Dept. of Athletics